It is now more important than ever to take infection control more seriously than we did in the past. It is important to take measures to mitigate the spread of contagious diseases and prevent deaths. This is especially so given the Coronavirus crisis that we currently find ourselves in.
Sterilization is one of the most crucial infection control strategies in healthcare institutions. This article discusses why sterilization should be an everyday routine in healthcare facilities.
These organisms that cause diseases (pathogens) such as bacteria are everywhere. However, they are too tiny to be seen with the eyes. These organisms exist in large amounts in locations with sick people. So, healthcare facilities are hotspots for pathogens. A typical example is periodontal diseases causing bacteria that can be found in the saliva. Other contagious diseases include tuberculosis, hepatitis, COVID-19, and a host of others. Sterilization of your healthcare tools can curtail the spread of such infections.
Prevents the Proliferation of Pathogens
Microorganisms multiply faster than you can imagine. This fast rate of multiplication can become deadly if the microbe is a pathogen that causes a disease. However, sterilization would destroy any pathogen that is locking around the equipment you use in the healthcare facility. As such, they will not be able to multiply within your healthcare facility. Besides sterilizing every equipment that is used on a sick fellow, the entire environment must also be disinfected consistently.
Pathogens damage vital parts of the body, such as the blood, immune system, lungs, kidneys, and other vital organs. If the infection is not controlled on time, it eventually leads to the death of the victim. That is why it is essential to sterilize all healthcare facilities, including dental clinics, to prevent infections that can possibly cause death.
Protect the Public Image of a Clinic
Do you know that a seemingly small mistake like neglecting to sterilize a piece of equipment can lead to lethal damages, according to Boom! Supplies. In some cases, the patient may eventually die from infectious diseases. These types of damage could be prevented if sterilization procedures were followed strictly. Such an unfortunate event can destroy the public image of a clinic. In a worse scenario, the clinic could be sued for medical negligence!
Protect Healthcare Staff
The staff and health workers in a clinic are often at risk of contracting infections from sick people. You would be safeguarding the welfare of health workers by sterilizing clinic tools and disinfecting the environment consistently.
How to Safeguard your Practice
The guidelines below would help you protect the health and welfare of the visitors, staff, and patients of your clinic.
Practice Handwashing: The policy of handwashing should be followed strictly. Every Health worker should wash hands before and after contact with a patient.
Use Vaccination: All staff in a healthcare facility should be mandated to receive vaccination for infectious diseases. Vaccines for notorious infections such as flu, pertussis, rubella, tetanus, Hepatitis B, diphtheria, measles, and mumps should be given to all healthcare workers.
Surface Disinfection: The clinic policy should include consistent sterilization of surfaces, furnishing, and other structure of the healthcare facility. For instance, the floor, walls, countertops, tables, etc., should be disinfected consistently.
Use Protective Gears Always: The policy of the clinic should include the use of protective gear whenever a staff is in contact with a patient. For instance, caregivers should always wear gloves, and masks should be used when necessary.
Maintain Up-To-Date Medical Records: Some people are more prone to certain infections than others. Therefore, it is essential to have the medical records of staff and patients intact for easy reference. Healthcare professionals should always make a habit of questioning patients about their medical history to get an idea of their susceptibility.
Sterilize Medical Tools: Make sure the staff of your clinic follows the procedure for sterilizing medical tools and equipment strictly. All equipment must be sterilized after used and stored in a safe place. You should also advise patients to adopt sterilization measures in their homes. For instance, toothbrushes should be cleaned thoroughly after use.